The sprawling Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., which hosts about 7 million people each year, will open a $40.6-million visitors center Wednesday in what were two courtyards in the three-block-long complex at 10th Street and Constitution Avenue N.W. Designed to "entertain people while you educate them," according to spokesman Randall Kremer, "Discovery Center" consists of an Imax movie theater, expanded museum shops and the 600-seat Atrium Cafe.
The Imax theater, with a four-story-high screen, will show nature films, including, in the fall, "Galapagos," a new 3-D film produced by the Smithsonian. The museum is open 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily. Admission is free. Information: telephone (202) 357-2700.